According to a report published by intelligence firm New World Wealth, in association with Mauritian lender AfrAsia Bank, Mauritius is ranked number one in Africa of countries home to high net worth individuals (HNWIs).
The report found that the East African island has seen exceptional growth in the number of millionaires – those with wealth above $1m (£774,749, €916,355) – which has more than doubled between 2006 to 2016.
This is closely followed by Ethiopia which has seen a 219% increase in HNWs over the same period, while Rwanda comes in third at 107%.
The trend is expected to continue over the next decade with Mauritius likely to see an increase of millionaires by 130%, followed by Ethiopia and Rwanda at 100%.
The report said the growth in millionaires in Mauritius has been helped by strong economic growth and migration where “a large number of wealthy individuals have moved there over the past decade, especially from France and southern Africa”.
Estimates show that 280 millionaires have moved to Mauritius from South Africa alone since 2006.
Subsequently, this has created a thriving and growing financial services sector, particularly in offshore banking, fund management and private banking, said AfrAsia.
The offshore tax jurisdiction also offers automatic permanent residency to individuals who buy a $500,000 home in the country and low taxes which appeals to wealthy individuals and retirees.
Company and personal income tax rates are only 15%, with no inheritance or capital gains tax.
As a result, the report found that the number of millionaires in Mauritius has grown by 20% in the year to 2015/16, closely followed by Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Rwanda – all of which saw a 10% increase in HNWIs (table 2).
Sanjiv Bhasin, chief executive of AfrAsia Bank, said: “This report confirms our findings that the African continent will demonstrate encouraging growth in Wealth Creation. Mauritius is a lending hub for Offshore Financial Services and will receive this ‘wealth flow’ for management and investment.
“We therefore expect Mauritius to be the biggest beneficiary of this developing trend. At AfrAsia we are constantly preparing to benefit from this possible ‘business growth’.”